How do I pronounce al-jabr and al-Khwarizmi?
August 27, 2012 3:32 PM   Subscribe

In a lecture I am planning, I will mention that the words "algebra" and "algorithm" come from a book called al-Jabr w'al-Muqabala by Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī. I don't speak Arabic but would like to pronounce the names as accurately as possible. Can anyone advise me on Arabic pronunciation?
posted by espertus to Grab Bag (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's a clip of an Egyptian woman pronouncing the title.
posted by zippy at 4:01 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Not exactly what you asked, but it may be of interest that al-Khwarizmi probably came from the Khwarezm region which is now a province in the Karakalpakstan region of Uzbekistan and there are some pretty remarkable ruins in the area, most dating from when Tamurlane came through and crushed them in the 1400s.

I've been meaning to do a FPP on it the area for a while, maybe this will finally get me off my butt.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 4:46 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I will say, the egyptian dialect pronounces the J in Al-Jabr in a distinctly different way from standard Arabic and other Arabic dialects. Instead of a 'J'-like sound, the woman, like all other Egyptians, uses a 'Guh' sound.
I'd suggest grab bag avoid mimicking the clip's pronunciation of that particular word.
posted by mulligan at 5:31 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

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